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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Mar; 33(3): 701–705.
PMCID: PMC228017

Development of PCR for screening of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli.


In this study, we determined the sequence of the EcoRI-PstI fragment of the plasmid pCVD432, also termed the enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAggEC) probe. A primer pair complementary to this probe was designed for PCR amplification of a 630-bp region. Comparison of the analysis of the EAggEC probe sequence with those in database libraries revealed no significant similarity to any known bacterial gene. Pure cultures of E. coli cells, as well as mixed cultures from stool specimens, were investigated with the PCR assay, the EAggEC probe test, and the adherence test. Of 50 E. coli strains which demonstrated aggregative adherence to HEp-2 cells, 43 (86%) were positive with the EAggEC PCR. All 43 of these strains reacted with the EAggEC probe. Six EAggEC strains gave negative results by both molecular techniques. In contrast, only 4 of 418 (0.96%) strains representing other categories of diarrheagenic E. coli demonstrated a positive PCR result. The PCR was also successful in screening for the presence of EAggEC in enriched cultures grown from stool specimens. Compared with cell culture assays and colony hybridization, our findings revealed that the PCR assay was more rapid, simple, and highly sensitive and can therefore be recommended as a screening method for EAggEC in the clinical laboratory.

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Selected References

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